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Reflections: Selfhood/Motherhood Exhibit

August 16

June 28 – September 2, 2024

Jasmine Chen, Artist in Residence, Fall 2023

Catherine LeComte Lecce, Artist in Residence, Winter/Spring 2024

This year’s artists-in-residence exhibition, entitled “Reflections: Selfhood/Motherhood,” highlights the work of Fall Artist-in-Resident Jasmine Chen and Winter/Spring Artist in Resident Catherine LeComte Lecce. From paintings to photography to installation art, the diverse practices of the artists lend themselves to a two-person multidisciplinary exhibition of work produced during their stay at The Umbrella Arts Center.

Jasmine Chen showcases self-portraits she worked on during her residency, where the dialogic space between the painter self and the painted self allows for a unique visual self-examination and expression that parallels self-care, transformation, and healing.

Catherine LeComte Lecce’s work delves into a spectrum of themes around motherhood using a variety of media, from  image transfers on panels and blocks, to large scale scrapbook style installations from her own childhood, to pieces including data from both medical and maternal observation.

This exhibition celebrates the transformative power of creative expression within the nurturing environment of an artist residency.



Catherine LeComte Lecce

Catherine LeComte Lecce’s work delves into the multifaceted realm of the maternal experience through diverse media. Her featured pieces include image transfers of herself and her son onto glass panels and acrylic blocks, expansive installations blending images of flowers printed on organza with her mother’s archival photos, cyanotypes, and sculptural transformations of her son’s baby blankets. Additionally, she integrates data from medical and maternal research studies, infusing her work with contextual depth and resonance centered around motherhood.

Jasmine Chen

“The mirror shows me the face I know, but it’s not the face that I see..” – Vincent van Gogh.

“The self-portrait is way to explore oneself, to learn to know oneself better.”  – Frida Kahlo

“Let Memories Snow” and other paintings involving the self by Jasmine Chen

In recent years, I have hesitated to make self-portraits because I prefer to paint live and have my subjects look straight at me while I paint them. The interaction is both physical and emotional, a process of connection where my body traces the physical presence of my sitter via eyes, brain, nervous system, and brush. My subject’s stillness and my movement create the context for my recreation or recasting — of the subject on the canvas. When the subject is myself, I hit blind spots: I see limbs, for example, and part of the torso, but virtually no head! Using a mirror or a camera would disrupt the directness I prefer for portrait-making, of family, friends and neighbors. So, why despite inevitable mediation of this sort — do self-portraits at all? Or, more precisely, why now?

I suffered from several injuries in the last year and realized during the healing process that I desperately needed to get to know my body better. Making self-portraits is an opportunity to closely examine my physical body, inside and out, despite the literal impossibility of doing that. Fortunately, my art process is inspired and fueled by obstacles, and being in the zone of discomfort is normal. Thus sprang “When Memories Snow” and “Slow As Pulling Silk from a Silkworm.”

“Portrait As Self-Portrait” started as a portrait of someone else, and as the painting progressed it became increasingly unrecognizable as that person and emotional in the sense of corresponding to my own feelings: a self-portrait more than a portrait of another. It became an exploration of the relationship between the self and the other, perhaps an exercise of seeing one’s self in another, or finding otherness within.

I completed the largest piece, “After Artemisia’s Judith Beheading of Holofernes,” right before I started my residency at The Umbrella Arts Center in September 2023. It is not intended as a self-portrait, though I inserted a version of myself in the painting, roughly in place of Judith. This painting represents my struggle to envision change, both within myself and in the world at large.


August 16
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The Umbrella Arts
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Concord, MA 01742 United States
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